Without the demands for Eid, sales of jamdani do not usually exceed Tk20 crore
With Eid knocking on the door, craftsmen of Jamdani Palli in Narayanganj’s Rupganj upazila have become quite busy weaving jamdani, a geographical indication (GI) product and luxury attire for women in Bangladesh.
This Eid-ul-Fitre, the weavers of Noapara and Demra Jamdani Palli have set sales targets of Tk35 crore. Without the demands for Eid, sales of jamdani do not usually exceed Tk20 crore.
Mosammet Majeda, a jamdani weaver for 15 years, said: “Jamdani has hundreds of designs, which include Ful-Terchi, Dalam-Terchi, Paan-Terchi, Chhitar-Terchi, Sui-Jaal, Hatu-Vanga, Madan-Paier and more.
“Chhitar-Jaal, Sui-Jaal and Paartio-Jaal are some of the most expensive designs in the market. Each saree has a market value of Tk2,200 to Tk2 lakh, and it can take a week to six months to weave.”
Md Nasir Uddin, a jamdani weaver for 30 years in South Rupshi area of Rupganj, said: “The quality of the fabric depends on how the silk yarns are processed for weaving.
“After the yarns are dyed, we process them for weaving jamdani using rice starch and later, dry them under the sun multiple times.
"Then the saree is woven on a handloom (a machine operated by hands and feet), and patterns in different colours and styles are added, following one more starching process,” Nasir Uddin added.
Md Rubel, another jamdani weaver, said: "There is a demand for jamdani sarees all year round in local and foreign markets. As the numbers of weavers have declined in recent years, we have to work very hard.
"Noapara and Demra Jamdani Palli store their sarees and sell them in the local ‘haat’ (market) that sits every Thursday.
Rubel further said that around 200 wholesalers get the sarees from the haat and supply to local and international markets.
Fahim Jamdani House owner Fahim Mia said: "Jamdani is made in such a way that it becomes comfort clothing in both summer and winter. We sell jamdani sarees at wholesale and retail price from our shop. The demand increases ahead of Eid. As jamdani cannot be produced overnight, it has to be pre-ordered and quality sarees can be very expensive.”
Moni Islam, a resident of Khamarpara area, said: "The beauty of a Bengali woman flourish in jamdani. I like to buy a jamdani (saree) every Eid."
Although factory owners and distributors of jamdani make a high profit, the weavers and artisans behind the traditional masterpiece often endure financial hardships.
Mosamet Rehana of South Rupshi area has 30 years of experience in crafting jamdani.
She said: "We are not paid enough, compared to the work we put in behind each jamdani. As the wholesalers collect jamdani sarees long before Eid, we have to sell them at a low price. Weavers have declined in numbers because of the low pay, and for this reason, we often cannot meet the market demand."